A GRAND total of 86 per cent of applicants in Surrey for reception class places have been offered their first choice school this September.

A detailed breakdown of the data reveals that infant and primary schools in Haslemere and the surrounding area received 1,319 first preference applications and in return made 1,126 first preference offers.

Grayswood Primary School was the most oversubscribed, receiving 36 first choice applications and offering places to 25, totalling 69 per cent. The percentage of parents receiving their first choice was much higher in neighbouring schools:

• Shottermill Infant School received 57 applications and devised 48, totalling 84 per cent

• St Bartholomew’s Primary School received 65 applications and delivered 55 (85 per cent)

• Witley Infant School received 29 applications and delivered 25 (86 per cent)

Beacon Hill Primary School received 23 applications and delivered 20, totalling 87 per cent.

Fortunate parents applying for St Mary’s Primary School in Chiddingfold were 100 per cent successful, with 44 first choice applications and 44 places delivered.

Where schools are unable to fill their published admissions number with first preference offers, they must instead turn to second, third and fourth preferences, to people who live outside Surrey and to those unable to get a place at any of their top four schools.

Across Waverley as a whole, 85 per cent of parents received their first preference reception schools, while Surrey-wide the figure rose to 86 per cent – up from 82 per cent last year.

In addition, 96 per cent of Surrey applicants were offered one of their top three preferences – up from 94 per cent last year - and all Surrey pupils who needed a place got one.

In total, 13,115 Surrey-based residents applied for places – down five per cent from 13,877 last year.

At junior school level, 90 per cent of Surrey applicants were offered their first preference school – the same as last year - and 95 per cent one of their top three preferences – also the same as 2016.

Liz Mills, Surrey County Council’s assistant director for schools and learning, said: “We’re pleased we were able to offer the vast majority of children the primary school place they wanted this year with six-in-seven applicants getting their first preference.

“While the number of applicants to primary schools fell this year in the wake of the birth rate dropping in 2013, we know we still need to create an extra 11,000 school places over the next five years to cater for demand in many parts of the county at both primary and secondary level.”